The Definitive Guide to Santa Fe Restaurant Week - 2019 Edition
Wondering where to eat in Santa Fe for Restaurant Week? We've got you covered...
Now that we’re nearly halfway through our favorite time of year to check out some of Santa Fe’s newer restaurants (as well as revisiting old favorites) we thought it would be a great time to check in and give everyone the down low on Santa Fe Restaurant Week. Here it goes…
When is it?
Restaurant Week is actually 10 days, so technically it’s more than a week (in Santa Fe at least). Santa Fe Restaurant Week for 2019 runs from Friday, February 22nd to Sunday, March 3. Albuquerque has its own restaurant week running from March 3 to March 10, and Los Alamos and Taos both the share the week of March 10 to March 17.
What is it and how does it work?
Restaurants in Santa Fe use Restaurant Week as a chance to lure in diners in what would otherwise be a relatively slow period. Prix-fixe (fancy French for “fixed price”) three course menus are offered by all participating restaurants.
I think I’ve heard of this in other cities. Did Santa Fe invent Restaurant Week?
No, unfortunately not. While we can lay claim to the oldest capital city in America, Restaurant Week was first started by Tim Zagat (yes, that Zagat) in New York City in 1992. Santa Fe first started Restaurant Week in 2009, meaning this year is the 10th anniversary!
Which restaurants are included?
54 total restaurants are participating in Santa Fe this year, including many of your old favorites, as well as a few newcomers. This marks the first year that perennially popular The Shed is offering both a lunch and dinner menu, and it’s also the first year that Dinner for Two has joined.
You can find the full list of participating Santa Fe restaurants here: http://santafe.nmrestaurantweek.com/restaurants
So where should I go to eat?
Ah, let the debate begin. This all depends on one’s strategy - many use restaurant week as a chance to try out a new-ish restaurant they’ve had their eye on, while others use it as a chance to score a great deal on a special menu that you wouldn’t normally be able to find. We count ourselves in both categories, so were going to give you recommendations for both:
Best value restaurants for 2019 Restaurant Week
The Santa Fe New Mexican had a fantastic write-up last year highlighting “Five Gems for Restaurant Week”, and we would have to agree with their approach - basic math and a bit of time reading menus will tell you where you’re enjoying the best deal during Restaurant Week. Here are a few of our favorites:
Milad consistently offers one of the best restaurant week meals in town when it comes to value. Priced at just $25/pp, their three course menu includes favorites such as tachin, a crispy saffron rice layered with turmeric chicken and barberries (be sure to ask “so what exactly is a barberry'“), their stuffed trout as a main, and the best baklava you’ll find in town.
A long-time favorite of locals, Joseph’s has long been known for offering one of the most comprehensive and generous Restaurant Week menus. While most restaurants offer three selections for each course, Joseph’s offers a whopping eight different choices for the main course alone, including their spectacular steak au poivre, a dish that is usually priced at a still very much worth it $44. So you might as pay the extra $1 this week and Joe will throw in both the appetizer (we’d recommend their carrot dog if you’ve never tried it) and the dessert (butterscotch pudding, cloud cake, a house made ice cream just to name a few).
An experience not to be missed, Sazon is ranked #1 out of the 380 Santa Fe restaurants listed on TripAdvisor. Chef Olea’s passion for his home country’s cuisine shines through and the moles here have introduced many to a side of Mexican cuisine they’ve never experienced before. At $45/pp, their three course menu easily makes our list for best value. The food here is so good that we’d recommend also having a look at the a la carte menu and possibly adding a few of their signature dishes to your order - the sopa de amor and an order of both the Oaxaqueños (grasshopper tacos) and Xochimilco (corn truffle tacos) are a few of the can’t miss items.
Called “the most iconic restaurant in Santa Fe” by Eater.com last year, Coyote Cafe is a legendary restaurant that arguably put Santa Fe’s fine dining scene on the map when it first opened in 1987. Today, the restaurant is enjoying a renaissance under the management of one of Santa Fe’s most successful restauranteurs, Quinn Stephenson. If you haven’t eaten here since their renovation last year, restaurant week is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with the new space. We’d recommend sitting at the bar as this is one of our favorite spots to enjoy the entertainment of an open kitchen layout. Their $45/pp menu easily makes our best value list, and includes options such as the Pork Osso Bucco and Duck Leg Confit on offer (both of which normally go for $38 and $32, respectively).
Looking for a guided food tour of Santa Fe? Join one of our walking food tours - or create your own private tour!
New-ish restaurants to try for 2019 Restaurant Week
One of the newest fine dining arrivals in Santa Fe also boasts one of the only female executive chefs (that we know about at least). We were very eager to check this place out and lucked out with a corner window table during last week’s gigantic snowstorm. The portions here were extremely generous and left us plenty satiated for our walk/trudge home through the freshly fallen snow.
While it isn’t new per se, Anasazi did see a very under the radar transition in the kitchen late last year with the departure of the popular Edgar Beas and the arrival of Peter O’Brien. The menu here, perhaps more than any other intrigued us - they had us at “rabbit pappardelle” and “bison short ribs”.